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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 08:05 GMT
Lung disease 'hotspots' revealed
Woman with respiratory problems
COPD can be seriously disabling
Experts have pinpointed the hotspots where serious lung disease poses the greatest problem in the UK.

The British Lung Foundation focused on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which includes conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

It found the health service was under greatest strain from COPD in deprived areas such as Glasgow and Liverpool.

South Tyneside had the highest proportion of people at risk of hospital admission from COPD.

LUNG DISEASE HOTSPOTS
Greater Glasgow & Clyde
Lanarkshire
Liverpool
Hull
Sunderland
Manchester
County Durham
Sandwell
South Tyneside
Gateshead
Hotspot defined as greatest overall pressure on local health services

People living are 62% more at risk of hospital admission for lung disease than the UK average.

This was followed by Hull and Barking and Dangenham in London.

Affluent areas, mostly in the south of England, were least likely to be affected.

COPD is the UK's fifth biggest killer, causing more deaths in England and Wales than breast and prostate cancer combined.

Early diagnosis key

Early diagnosis would help save lives, but experts estimate that 2.8 million people in the UK are unaware they have a serious lung disease.

LOWEST RISK
Surrey
Devon
Hampshire
Dorset
North Yorkshire and York
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
West Sussex
Buckinghamshire
Oxfordshire
East Sussex Downs and Weald

The British Lung Foundation is calling for the NHS to carry out targeted health campaigns in hotspot areas.

Dame Helena Shovelton, BLF chief executive, said: "COPD blights the lives of those who have it and places a huge burden on the NHS, particularly in the hotspot areas identified in our report.

"If people with COPD can be diagnosed earlier, we could dramatically reduce the death rate and human suffering from this debilitating disease."

Health minister Ann Keen said COPD was a priority for the NHS.

She said: "There are currently millions of people suffering with the disease in England.

"The department is making good progress with the development of a new National Services Framework (NSF) for patients with COPD, working with healthcare professionals, such as Nurse Specialists, service users and carers, with publication scheduled for the end of next year.

"The NSF will help support improvements to care ensuring better management of the disease and wider choice of care for patients, where and when they want it."



SEE ALSO
Much lung disease 'undiagnosed'
20 Sep 06 |  Health
COPD (respiratory disease)
14 Mar 06 |  Medical notes

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